Facades+ Los Angeles was a two-day conference that brought together top professionals from the worlds of design, fabrication, and construction to consider how high performance envelopes contribute to and are shaped by LA’s unique architectural landscape.
After kicking off with a full day 30-speaker symposium, day two offered 9 workshop sessions. The workshops provided a unique opportunity to have an in-depth dialog with leading architects, fabricators, developers and engineers. Class sizes ranged from 10 to 30 participants and offered a deeper dive into issues and discussions from the symposium.
Morning topics involved energy efficiency, digital modeling techniques, and detailing fundamentals. Russell Fortmeyer, associate principal at Arup, led a discussion on the pursuit of “zero energy” facades, sharing insights into new tools being developed to “design for the long haul.” Fortmeyer discussed using UK-based weathershift.org and dynamic thermal modeling techniques to anticipate shifting weather patterns in an effort to deliver longer lasting projects. In a hands-on group session titled “Advanced Detailing for High-Performance Envelopes,” Brad Prestbo (Sasaki), Chris O’Hara (Studio NYL), and Stan Su (Morphosis), introduced participants to fundamental detailing issues then broke out attendees into groups to re-engineer iconic mid-century modern details with a renewed emphasis on energy efficiency.
The afternoon session offered extended discussions into curtain wall installation and troubleshooting with Bart Harrington, field technical services manager at YKK-AP, and Ivan Zuniga, architectural services manager at YKK-AP. Attendees participated in assembly, installation, and glazing of curtain wall mockups. Satoru Sugihara, founder of collaborative computational design studio Architectural Technology Laboratorial Venture (ATLV), offered insights into how “agent-based” algorithms—complex organizing systems and patterns—can be applied to facade geometry through coding and computational exercises.
Representatives from Walter P Moore and Vector Foiltec, a pioneer of Texlon Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) for the building industry, shared research and case study examples in a presentation that blended design, material science, and construction logistics.
As a whole, the suite of workshops touched on a range of complex issues, interconnected by the increasing demand for an energy efficiency, that balance conceptual ideas about projected futures, rapidly evolving innovation in material science, optimization techniques for working with digital model geometry, and technical detailing to achieve long-lasting high-performance results.